Erdogan visits Qatar as it tries to find modus vivendi with neighbours

Turkey’s President on Monday headed to Qatar’s capital Doha to attend the fifth meeting of the Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan left on the Turkish presidential plane from Esenboga Airport in the capital Ankara at 9.25 a.m. local time (0625GMT).

During his visit, Erdogan is to meet with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who together will co-chair the high strategic committee, as well as attend an official dinner given by Al-Thani in his honor.

Erdogan is also expected to visit the Qatar-Turkey Combined Joint Force Command in the Gulf nation.

Erdogan is accompanied by a delegation of top Turkish officials including Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu, Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, and Hakan Fidan, head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

Erdogan’s visit to Qatar comes at a time when the Gulf country would like to smooth over differences with its neighbours. Turkey is part of the problem, and the visit will exacerbate tensions, as the Turkish presence in the area is a thorn in the side of other Gulf countries.